Non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC)

Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) strains can cause serious illness in humans by producing toxins that can severely damage the lining of your intestines and kidneys. Infection with STEC strains can lead to serious complications like hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which sometimes is fatal.

The most commonly identified STEC in Minnesota is E. coli O157:H7. However there are many other strains of shiga toxin-producing E. coli that cause illness in people, sometimes referred to as "non-O157 STEC."

  • There are numerous non-O157 STEC serogroups that often cause illness in people in the United States.
    • The most common serogroups reported to cause foodborne illness in the United States are O26, O111, O103, O121, O45, and O145. These six serotypes account for about 75% of all STEC infections in human in the U.S.

Symptoms, dration of illness complications, and transmission

Symptoms, duration of illness, complications, and transimission of non-O157 STEC are the same as Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli O157) and may vary for each person.

  • Non-O157 STEC outbreaks are rare, but tend to primarily be due to contaminated food and person-to-person transmission. 
  • As with E. coli O157:H7, non-O157 STEC cases tend to occur during the summer months.
  • Compared with E. coli O157:H7 infections, identification of non-O157 STEC infections is more complex.
  • STEC may also be referred to as verocytotoxin-producing E. coli (VTEC) or enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC).

 

Do you suspect that you have a foodborne illness? Visit reporting suspected foodborne illnesses.

 

Updated Friday, July 18, 2014 at 10:16AM